Monday, January 09, 2006

Survival of the Fastest


In terms of livestock, the chicken that runs away gets attacked first. Chickens can be cruel. They will actually peck each other to death if one starts bleeding, and by turning to run, they leave their bottoms vulnerable.

When Plato defined humans as "featherless bipeds" Diogenes brought a plucked chicken to one of his lectures and showed Plato his version of a human. This made others laugh.

Humans are different than animals, or at least they should be. We should be rational enough to solve problems without fighting. If we do fight, it should be in a professional setting like a martial arts arena where the fighters' main objective is to end the fight, not kill their opponent. Despite the fact that there are many wars going on all the time, and that humans do horrendous things to each other like slowly peel nails off to torture them for information or sadistic pleasure, some people have found other means to end a conflict. I had an example this weekend of how simply avoiding confrontation served me well.

I get into strange situations sometimes that I do not enjoy. One of these situations is coming into contact with people who want to kick my ass. Perhaps it is because I am confrontational, but I would say more that I'm inquisitive that I run into troubles. People don't always understand where I'm coming from. It's something I'm working on.

It was one of these situations where I was interacting with individuals for the first time, and I made an error in starting a conversation off on the wrong foot. I entered into an arena of sensitivity and asked the wrong question in the wrong place at the wrong time. Specifically, I asked someone who was blind in one eye whether it was the result of head trauma. I asked this in a house full of football players, late at night after they had been drinking. Although I began to apologize the moment I sensed the tension in the air (I was not making fun of the disability, just curious about the difference in pupil dilation between the eyes), the fact that his response to my question was "you're going to feel head trauma in a moment," I surmised that physical danger was immanent.

Anyway, I didn't need to be given a cease and desist more than once. I was on my way, but as I stopped down the street from this place of non-friends, I noticed someone approaching me. I didn't recognize them and I was on the phone at the time, however, it didn't take very long to put two and two together when he came up to me and gave me a shove.

The solution to me was quite simple. I had already had a long night and didn't feel like exchanging punches. That's for hicks. So what did I do?

I promptly turned and ran away, quickly.

On my way, I think I heard a faint "hey, come back here!" but it didn't really sound persuasive enough. When I looked back, I was two blocks away, and no one was behind me. "It's a good thing you're a runner" I thought to myself. "Yes, it is." I thought back.

Whether or not I would have been victorious in a fight to me didn't matter. Either way, it would have been messy. I simply prided myself in being the quicker one, the one whose decision made a difference in the outcome. It made me happy for all the times I went jogging to blow off the steam and aggression that I'd pent up from having my ego shattered, or dealing with idiotic customers, or getting dumped by hot, successful women.

As far as it suits me, my opponent can go suck an egg. For my part, I'm much happier without a broken nose, without all the drama, without the missing teeth, the police reports, the uncertainties, the risks, the gamble and my %100 safety and comfort thanks.

You may be the type of person who likes to go looking for a fight, trying to feel powerful in whichever avenue you can, regardless of how much it relates you back to a Neanderthal, but I'm the type of person who likes to stay alive and doesn't mind being a coward, so I run. If I don't like the situation I'm in or the potential results of staying there, what I do is so simple:

I run very, very quickly.

4 Comments:

Blogger Carrie said...

smart boy!

you and Jason will get along famously! LMAO!
but seriously why fight...it solves NOTHING!
:)

11:11 p.m.  
Blogger Maddy said...

fight or flight - and art is
better by far - and a sense
of humor which you clearly
have! And you live to tell the
tale which your readers
appreciate!

11:41 p.m.  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Here's the link for french newspapers that you requested:

http://www.btinternet.com/~mark.willimott/french/news.htm

1:15 p.m.  
Blogger finnegan said...

and you never know when some numbskull might decide that you are to be the chosen one.

good move

2:25 p.m.  

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